CITES extends protection to shark species and mantas

CITES Bangkok 2013

Delegates at the triennial meeting in Bangkok of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) have voted today to accept that oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) , scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) be added to Appendix II of CITES. Appendix II lists species which are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but which may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

The vote was quite close, with China, Japan and smaller nations upon which the larger countries could exert leverage, voting against. There is also the possibility that lobbying by those opposed to the move over the next few days could cause the result to be overturned in the Plenary session.

UPDATE: Manta rays also receive Appendix II listing.

Press Release.

CITES advisory - Results of CITES deliberations on sharks.

Oceanic whitecap shark proposal 42 was adopted. Secret ballot. 92 votes in favor [ 68.66%], 42 against [31.34%], 8 abstentions.

Hammerhead sharks proposal 43 adopted. Secret ballot. 91 in favor, 39 against, 8 abstentions.

Porbeagle shark proposal 44 adopted. Secret ballot. 93 in favor, 39 against, 8 abstentions.

Discussions on sharks started this morning when Colombia introduced its proposal to regulate trade in oceanic whitecap shark, followed immediately by Brazil and the United States of America which co-sponsored the proposal and insisted in the annotation to delay the entry into force of the CITES listing until September 2014. Japan, China, San Vincent and the Grenadines and several members States opposed the proposal arguing that regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) were best placed to tackle the decline of shark stocks.

Tomorrow Tuesday 12 March, 12.30 press briefing on sharks with delegates from Member States that have made the proposals to the World’s Wildlife Conference. Venue Auditorium A, QSNCC.

Juan Carlos Vasquez.
Communications and Outreach Officer.